By Shankar Bhat, MPH’24 in Environmental Health
Visit Emory was a huge factor in my decision to commit to the Rollins School of Public Health so I’m very excited that you are considering visiting! The key in my mind is to hear from as many perspectives as possible, ask every question you think of, and ensure you have some time to reflect. Visit Emory can be a great time to visualize yourself amongst public health students, in classes you’re passionate about, and learn about the opportunities Rollins offers (there are a lot). While we don’t want to overwhelm you, there’s a lot going on here and every little detail can impact your decision.
I highly encourage talking to as many people as possible about why they chose Rollins – or even asking fellow prospective students why they’re considering Rollins. We all come from varied backgrounds – you’ll find people with work experience or are fresh from undergrad, studied a natural science or a social science, even some who made a huge career shift from another industry or field of study – and you’re guaranteed to find students who were considering similar priorities to yours as they chose a school. Everyone you meet throughout your time will be happy to talk about their experience – and that includes non-Ambassadors too! When asking about jobs or internships, I encourage asking your tour guides and panelists about their experiences (and of those of their peers) instead of waiting for the one session on making money while pursuing the degree. We are all navigating budgeting, moving to Atlanta, and balancing work and personal life so there’s no limit on the questions you can ask.
To that extent, I am a huge proponent of asking every question that crosses your mind. This is the time! If you have a question about the commute to campus while your tour guide is talking about the ease with which we take electives in other departments (super easily), don’t be afraid to ask when they come to a pause! Ultimately, we want you to be able to gain a full understanding of the Rollins experience and that means answering all your questions, no matter how random they may seem. Don’t hesitate to ask the panelists about their likes and dislikes of the program, the greeters about their departments, or the tour guides about how Rollins is preparing them for their future. There are so many student orgs that will be at the activities fair and, while you can and should of course ask them about their organizations, they can also talk about their research opportunities, their move to Atlanta, and so much more! Students at Rollins are super involved on campus and in the local community; many of us volunteer frequently, hold jobs off campus, and can give great recommendations for free ways to have fun.
Lastly, take some time at the end of the day to reflect. If you journal, make sure you get your thoughts on paper. Put it in your Notes app, call your friends or parents, or even just sit in a sunny spot and think. With so much going on, it can be easy to get lost in the whirlwind of events and panels and tours. Your initial thoughts and gut reactions are so important, and you don’t want that to get lost. It can be easy to focus on stats, financials, and other fast facts about a program, but if you have a visceral reaction – positive or negative – to a program, that can tell you a lot about where you will feel most comfortable. If you’re not comfortable in a program, it will always be that much harder to make the most of it.
TLDR: talk to as many people as possible, ask as many questions as come to mind, and allow yourself time to reflect. We are so excited to have you all join us this March and hope you’ll fall in love with Rollins the way we have.